Governor Mark Gordon announced Friday evening around 4:15 p.m. that the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) and the Wyoming Workforce Development Council (WWDC) would be offering $300,000 in grants to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Layoff Aversion Grants are an effort to avert or shorten layoffs statewide, the Governor said in a March 27 release, and the funding is intended to support Wyoming’s economy and vitality during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I am working tirelessly to find and deploy tools to strengthen Wyoming businesses during these challenging times,” he stated in the release. “Wyoming’s Layoff Aversion grants provide some relief to businesses while keeping employees working.”
The grants were available for up to $5,000 to support layoff aversion strategies that can keep their businesses open—and employees working—or shorten the duration of a layoff for all eligible Wyoming businesses in good standing with unemployment and worker’s compensation programs, the release stated, and a link to the application was provided.
“Wyomingites are creative and resilient, but sometimes we need a little financial assistance to get through the hard times,” Robin Sessions Cooley, DWS director, said in the Friday release. “I expect we will see employers come up with very innovative solutions through the Layoff Aversion Grants.”
As of Saturday morning, around 9:30 a.m., those who visited the Wyoming’s Layoff Aversion Grant application web page received only this message: “Thank you for your interest in Wyoming’s Layoff Aversion Grants. We have reached our grant application limit at this time. Please check back regularly, as availability may change as we process eligibility. We appreciate your patience.”
DWS and its 20 Workforce Centers across the state, including the Gillette office, will assist businesses with the grants to support strategies for the Cowboy State’s economy, per the release.